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The classroom friendly sharpener.

10.08.2018 10:00

I have been looking for a good desk pencil sharpener since I realized that pencils are awesome. My impression very early on was that the Classroom Friendly was one of the great ones. So I decided to get one, but did not do anything about it because I could not order one through any of the regular channels because they don’t want to ship outside the US. So, I started to look for other alternatives. And considered a handful of them. But decided to get the Classroom Friendly instead; through ebay. It was as painless as I could hope it to be. Even though the shipping took over twice as long as it would have taken through any of my regular shops.

Now, let’s get on to the sharpener. It is amazing. It feels like a quality product out of another era. Like when build quality was important, instead of cheap crap that seems to be the standard these days.

It is a joy to use, gives me a perfect point every single time. And it takes no time to sharpen a fresh pencil.

The only ting I have to say about it is that it leaves some nasty marks on the pencil. It doesn’t bother me that much, but I guess it might bother some of the more obsessive out there.

Five step guide to pen addiction

06.08.2018 10:00

  1. Get a pack of Field Notes, a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook and a Retro 1.
  2. Get a Pilot Metropolitan
  3. Get a bottle or Iroshizuku ink.
  4. Get a TWSBI Eco
  5. Get a Lamy 2000.

Field Notes Pitch Black

03.08.2018 02:00

I recently got my first Field Notes order in a long time. It was three packs of Pitch Black. It is the first limited edition I have bought since Arts and Sciences.

It is awesome. The cover is thicker than usual. And the colour is awesome, because the outside is black and the inside is like the regular. I’ll probably order another batch of them if there are any left by the time I order more.

Daily Carry

30.07.2018 02:00

I have not done one of these in way too long.

Because I mostly use pencils in my pocket sized notebooks I ordered an order of Field Notes; mainly because I was running out and I needed something fast. I got a few packs of Pitch Black, which is really nice. I think this is the first order of a limited edition Field Notes I have ordered since Arts and Sciences. And I still use Leuchtturm1917 notebooks for long form writing and for managing tasks. One lined and one dot grid.

Ink wise I have all of my pens inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki Shikibu, which is the coolest colour I have bought in a really long time.

I still carry my broad Vanishing Point, my medium Lamy 2000 and my board flex Metal Falcon. And I carry a old school pencil case with 24 Golden Bears(I never run out of sharp pencils).

And I carry spare Field Notes and the pens in my trusty Nock.co Hightower. My current go to pencil sharpener is a Classroom Friendly.

Soft pencils and broad fountain pen nibs

27.07.2018 02:00

When I first got around to buying a box of Blackwings (after having it on my “stuff to get” list for two years, and I started using them it hit me how similar it was to using a broad fountain pen. They are both messy, put down a very satisfying line and you have to refill / sharpen it all the time. Or at least a lot compared to their finer / harder bothers.

Like I said, they are both high maintenance and very messy. If you use a broad nib you’ll end up with ink all over your hands, and if you use a broad pencil you’ll end up with graphite all over your hands.

I very soon realised that a little bit harder pencils are the thing for me. Because unlike fountain pens, there are much less you can do about it, except carrying a lot of pencils. If you like broad fountain pen nibs you can just get a huge piston filler and ink capacity isn’t a huge problem. Pencils on the other hand requires sharpening. And there is a limit to how many you can carry. How messy they are is also a part of it for me. A fountain pen is messy, but after a few seconds the ink is dry while graphite will smear the same if you drag your hand over for the first time after a minute or ten.

Even though I use Broad fountain pens, I have landed on #2 / HB pencils as “my thing”. Smooth enough for it to not annoy me, while at the same time hard enough to not look like a crazy person while I write.

Erasors on top or not?

23.07.2018 02:00

Some pencils come with erasers on top, while others don’t. I would personally prefer to not have them there at all, because I just pull them off and sharpen both sides of the pencil. But for those who use them: is it that difficult to make a pencil with one that actually works?

Fine I get it that you have to cut some corners if you make cheap pencils, but when we pay around $2 per pencil I think we should be able to expect the fucking thing to work.

Top 3

20.07.2018 02:00

My top 3 favourite pencils, in order:

  1. The Blackwing 602
  2. The Field Notes Pencil
  3. The Golden Bear.

The 602 is the better pencil because of how smooth it is to write with, and how comfortable it is to hold, while the Field Notes pencil is even more comfortable to hold but not as smooth to write with. And the Golden Bear is a great pencil, but a much more crude and basic pencil. At the end of the day however, I prefer the Golden Bear because it is much less expensive and I can buy it in bulk. For the price of One and half box of 602’s I can get 144 Golden Bears.

The Golden Bear.

16.07.2018 02:00

The Golden Bear is a #2 pencil made by Palamino and sold exclusively through Pencils.com. You can get it in blue and orange; I went with orange.

It looks great, and is a fantastic pencil to write long form. It is a little bit harder and more scratchy than the 602. But it keeps a point better. I think the barrel is a little bit more uncomfortable than the Blackwings. But it isn’t a problem.

If I’m going to write long form, like I am doing now, I’d probably pick up this over the 602, because I can get around 30-50% more pages per sharpen. But I kind of prefer the Field Notes pencil to this one, because its round barrel is more comfortable to write with.

One important note however is that the price of this one is around $5 per back, while the Blackwing is over $20. This is the pencil I would buy if I were on a budget. A fantastic cheaper pencil.

The Blackwing 602

14.07.2018 02:00

I started out with the Blackwing MMX, and I immediately knew that I probably should have gone with the 602.

This pencil is awesome. IT is not a HB, it is a little bit softer and smother than all of the HB pencils I have used. But it feels like a very good compromise between point retention and smoothness.

Where I usually wanted to re-sharpen my MMX after half a A5 page, this pencil I can get through at least a full A5 before I want to stop and sharpen it. Other than that it feels a lot like the MMX. It is very comfortable to use and is obviously a premium pencil.

The design. It looks really good, even though to colours etc are not my kind of thing. I think both the MMX and the Pearl look much better than the Grey and Gold on this one.

I would probably have liked it to be a little bit harder, but if you are going to use the pencil for writing long form Id go with this over the other Blackwings.

The KUM Master Piece.

09.07.2018 02:00

I just sharpened three pencils with my new KUM Master Piece.

I’m coming from another KUM sharpener, the “Long Point Sharpener”. The basics are the same, both have two holes to let you get a long point on your pencils.

The big difference between the two is that the Long Point is made out of plastic, while the Master Point is made out of metal; and that the Long Point is boxed in and making it easier to use when you don’t have garbage can available, while the Master Piece does not.

I would not say that the Master Piece is “better”, the perfect version would be the best from both. But the build quality of the Master Piece is awesome. I can’t really describe how good it feels in your hand. But I got the same feeling that I had the first time I twisted a Retro 51.

The thing I don’t like about the Long Point sharpener is that it is too easy to break it, if you unscrew the blades. You know plastic and metal screws are often a mess. This will not be a problem with the Master Piece.

There are not that much to say about this sharpener. It sharpens your pencils well. It is well built, and not that expensive.